What is the impact of relocating to a new home for a child of 7 years?

New Brunswick, Canada


The following excerpt is from J.M. v. L.M., 2013 NBQB 157 (CanLII):

It can be safely said, at least without resort to expert assistance, that generally the greater the age of the child the more significant the impact of relocation. Indeed, it is a factor of some prominence in true mobility cases (See: Gordon v. Goertz 1996 CanLII 191 (SCC), [1996] 2 S.C.R. 27). Children of the age here form real connections with their neighborhood and immediate community, a sense of belonging, not unlike most adults who have resided in any particular place as long as these children have. Indeed, these children have known no other marital home. Obviously moving would impact them greater than a child of tender years, who has no sense of community, neighborhood, friends, etc. Children, even the oldest, are still developing coping skills. Not only are these children required to adapt to the drastic changes within their family brought on by the parental separation, they will also have to cope with the disruption caused to their outside world by any move. In the eyes of children the former marital home is not a cold asset that can be transposed to a ledger card. Rather, for many children it represents an island of normalcy in a rough sea of change; it’s very location and creature comforts are familiar; it can provide children with an appreciable measure of stability.

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